If you were injured in a car accident at work in Florida, depending on the circumstances, you might be eligible to recover financial compensation by filing a workers’ compensation claim, a personal injury claim, or both. If the accident occurred within the scope of your job, you might recover damages under workers’ compensation. If another party was negligent and caused your crash, you might also recover damages through a car accident lawsuit.
If this has happened to you, contact us at Kogan & DiSalvo for a free consultation. Our accomplished personal injury lawyers have devoted their legal careers to helping injury victims return to a financially and emotionally stable situation with honesty, integrity, and individualized attention. When you need a full-service law firm after a car accident at work, we are here for you.
To recover financial compensation for your damages in a car accident lawsuit, you will need to prove that the crash was at least partially caused by another party. For example, the police report might show that another driver was at fault. You then have the right to pursue a personal injury case which would be separate from worker’s comp.
In a personal injury lawsuit, you may be entitled to receive compensation for damages such as the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
As noted, you may also be eligible to file a completely separate workers’ compensation claim, which operates on a no-fault system. If you satisfy the criteria, you may still receive benefits even if you caused the crash. However, you will need to meet the following requirements:
- You are an employee rather than an independent contractor; and
- You were operating within the scope of your employment
No matter how long you have worked for that company, how many hours you work per week, and what you were doing at the time of the crash, you must be legally considered an employee to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. Independent contractors are generally not eligible, but they may still pursue financial compensation by means of a personal injury claim.
Regardless of fault, to recover workers’ compensation benefits, you must have been operating within the scope of your employment at the time of the accident. To help you determine this, ask this question—was your employer controlling your actions at the time of the collision?
Consider the following examples:
- You are an employee delivering packages each day, and as you turned onto the street for your final delivery, you were rear-ended. This would likely be considered to have been in the scope of your employment.
- You are an employee in an office setting, and you left your office at lunch to grab some food with a friend. While leaving the restaurant, you ran a stop sign and T-boned another vehicle. Here, because you were at lunch, you would be unlikely to be covered by workers’ compensation.
- You are an employee who was sent to the store by your boss to pick up some office supplies. While you are pulling out of the parking lot, you are hit by a distracted driver. Workers’ comp would likely cover you.
Note that workers’ comp generally does not cover accidents during your commute to and from work. However, there are some exceptions based on your job, and an experienced attorney can discuss those with you.
You can Still Win Even if You Were Partially At-Fault
Many victims of car accidents at work call us at Kogan & DiSalvo and express concern about their ability to win a personal injury lawsuit because they may have been partially responsible. Remember, Florida is a pure contributory negligence state. So as long as you were anything less than 50 percent responsible for the accident, you will still be eligible to recover financial compensation. The total amount of damages you suffered will be reduced in proportion to your share of the fault.
If you have been injured in a car accident at work in Florida, our attorneys at Kogan & DiSalvo strongly recommend that you consult with an experienced Florida car accident lawyer who handles workers’ comp and personal injury claims as soon as possible. While there are some exceptions, workers’ comp claimants generally only have 30 days after the crash to file, so time is of the essence.
If you were hurt in a car crash while on the job in Florida, call Kogan & DiSalvo today to schedule your free consultation. Our skilled attorneys could review your case and determine if you have a viable personal injury claim based on the cause of your accident in Florida. In addition, we work on a contingency basis, so there are no upfront legal fees.